Notes: Extended halftime stalls the action in loss to Wylie
By Taylor Graft
ABILENE– No one wants to talk about the extended halftime from the Liberty Hill-Abilene Wylie non-district game Friday, where the Bulldogs came away with a close 27-19 victory.
Not Liberty Hill coach Jerry Vance or Wylie Coach Hugh Sandifer.
That might be a result of the extra 15 or 20 minutes it took for the Wylie marching band and the homecoming court to do their halftime routine, well after the clock hit zero on the jumbotron.
Neither Wylie or Liberty Hill were informed by the referees or Abilene administrators about the extended halftime. Meaning both teams stood behind the end zone and waited for the band to play, the homecoming court to be introduced, and then finally a homecoming queen to be crowned.
Senior quarterback Nick Hernandez was not enjoying the halftime spectacle either.
“For me it put a fire in my belly,” Hernandez said. “They were taking away time from the game.”
Speaking of the jumbotron, Wylie’s jumbotron was one of the highlights of the new upgrades, including an updated press box, that Wylie invested in since the last meeting between Liberty Hill and Abilene Wylie in Bulldog Stadium back in 2008.
Trey Kleffner was Wylie’s leading rusher and receiver coming into the game against Liberty Hill. He exited early in the first half with a broken collarbone, that will keep the senior out for the rest of the season according to Sandifer.
Wylie took a play out of the Boise State playbook when the Broncos executed a hook-and-ladder against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in 2007 and went on to win in overtime 43-42 over the Sooners. In similar fashion, Tyler Ward threw a pass to Jaxson Money, a great football name by the way, who then lateraled it to Clay Johnston and ran 49 yards for the touchdown. It was the game-deciding touchdown.
The two teams flipped in the first and second half. Wylie picked up 12 first downs in the first half, the Panthers held them to three in the second half. In the first half the Bulldogs held Liberty Hill to three first downs, but the Panthers picked up 13 first downs in the second half.
About 200 Panther fans made the long trek to Abilene. Not just the parents of the players, but a good number of students and Panther faithful. Even though fans were disappointed in the loss, they cannot complain about the entertaining and hard fought battle that both teams produced on the field.